Monster Movie

Picture of Monster Movie

Monster Movie EP

Monster Movie - Monster Movie EP ©2001 Clairecords
1. Crash Landing
2. Every Time I Wonder
3. Rovaniemi
4. Street Lights
5. Ooby

Only in Britain could a pair of musicians record and release a set of lethargic, snoozy, jangly guitar noises and strumming and still somehow create a remarkable intriguing debut in the process. Monster Movie, who are not so nearly as scary or hokey as their band name might suggest, are made up of Christian Savill (who played guitar in Slowdive at one point, which is our historical name dropping for this review) and Sean Hewson. The pair had actually played together a decade ago in a band called Eternal and finally reformed in 2000 to create Monster Movie. This five song EP is the fruits of their labor and it turns out that this is quite a good introduction to the world.

The band's style could be pigeonholed into the style that has lately been referred to as "snorecore" as the music tends to cast a very sedate atmosphere. Monster Movie begins with a jangly, smoothly strummed guitar base and then overlays everything with layers of feedback, distortion, effects and other sounds that would be jarring if it were Fugazi, but this is not Fugazi. Instead, the effects and weird sounds are more similar to what Low might be doing. The vocals are dreamlike and serene. There is also a tendency to somehow throw pop into the mix and as a result you get somewhat plodding, distant songs that are catchy as hell, particularly the album opener, "Crash Landing". The songs tend to engulf the listener in sounds that are swirling and swishing, yet never offensive or harsh on the ear. The production creates a warm, glowing sonic quality that benefits the band greatly. In the end, this EP is a very nice piece of work that makes me hanker for a longer, full length album (that is theoretically coming out later this year). A recommended avenue of exploration for fans of Low, the more experimental Radiohead types and anyone who likes a serene journey within their rock music.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2001

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Last Night Something Happened

Monster Movie - Last Night Something Happened ©2002 Clairecords
1. First Trip To The City
2. Shortwave
3. Home
4. Waiting
5. Sleeping On A Train
6. Star City
7. 4th And Pine
8. Take Me Away
9. Ooby
10. Winter Is Coming

Having finally finished their full length follow up to their debut EP from last year, Monster Movie should be poised to establish themselves as more than a band that is mistakingly referred to as Oasis influenced shoegazers. Last Night Something Happened does little to step beyond the debut EP's material but considering the EP was quite brilliant in its own right, there's probably little need to reinvent the wheel this time around. This CD contains the same dreamy song structures, delicate melodies, backdrops of distortion and well contained feedback as the Ep did and simply offers another ten tracks (well, nine if you consider the fact that "Ooby" is reprised here) of excellent music. The CD offers a quite serene dose of atmospherics and truly gorgeous soundscapes as well as the ethereal, echoing vocals providing the melodies. Last Night Something Happened probably restrains the noisier jangles of the EP, but the essential dreampop nature of the music is compltely retained. A completely stellar and enjoyable full length debut, this CD is a fantastic follow up to a very enjoyable debut EP.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/2002

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Split CD W/ Dreamend

Monster Movie - Split CD W/ Dreamend ©2002 Graveface Records
1. Beautiful Artic Star
2. Nobody Sees
3. Untitled 1
4. ...Ellipsis...
5. Untitled 2

This short little EP features the talents of England's excellent Monster Movie and an American outfit named Dreamend. The five song split EP finds Monster Movie contributing two songs to Dreamend's three and the pairing actually finds both bands complementing one another very nicely. Monster Movie, whom has gotten quite a bit of praise right here on these pages, gives listeners two more songs of their slumbering, dream-ridden shoegazer music. Both songs are a bit less involved and perhaps a bit more elegant in their simplicity. Dreamend, on the other hand, is an instrumental (at least for the needs of this release) outfit who stick to a feedback and guitar hazed infusion of sound and mood. The bassist underscores the shimmering guitar sound with a fluid structure while the guitars offer both tender leads and the aforementioned wall of sound. The similarity to Slowdive or My Bloody Valentine is there, but this is far from a bad thing. Their three tracks act a bit more like one extended track with segueways and exitways.

While the two bands have their obvious stylistic differences, their two sounds make this CD a very smooth, enjoyable listen. The dreampop crowd should make the effort to search this neat little EP out.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 12/2002

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